The show started promptly at 7:30 as advertised. It began with new recruits of the Alaska National Guard being sworn in, followed by the National Anthem. Both received nice pops.
In spite on not being Lillian Garcia, Tony Chimel received a decent pop when he can out to start the festivities.
The floor was jammed to capacity, the next round of seats were about 3/4th full, and the cheap seats were mostly empty. Now we know what mathematical formula WWE uses to decide whether to cancel a show or not.
A quick word about the fans. You could tell that it had been four years since the last WWE appearance because all (and I mean all) the fans wore their T-shirts from that time.
On to the Action. The opener was the Usos vs. the Prime Time Players. The crowd reacted as expected to both teams, giving both nice reactions.
They recycled some of their comedy bits from previous matches, but worked hard and did their best, though it really wasn’t the best opener WWE ever had up here (That would have been a great Paul London vs. Tajiri match from well over a decade ago). The Usos won clean.
It should be noted that all the Superstars and Divas had a VERY long airplane ride on very little rest, so jet lag has to be factored in when evaluating their performances.
The next match was Justin Gabriel vs. a jobber, probably from NXT. How do we know he was a jobber? Tony Chimel either forgot his name or didn’t deem it worthy of his breath. Either way, not being introduced does not bode well. Justin won clean, but not with his closer. Clearly the agents were protecting the young man.
The Next match was Aksana vs. Layla. Layla got the biggest pop of the night up to that point, and went on to have the best match possible given the difficulties with travel and so on. Both worked hard, but Layla was clearly carrying her opponent. Layla won clean.
The next match was Heath Slater accompanied by Jinder Mahal vs. Kofi Kingston. Drew Mcintyre was nowhere to be seen. No doubt he had passport issues which prevented him from leaving the USA. ïŠ Ah, to be young and in fantastic shape. Both superstars gave no indication they were jet lagged, and really brought it. A fantastic match that Kofi won clean with his closer. Then Jinder Mahal decided he couldn’t leave well enough alone, gave Kofi guff, and also tasted Kofi’s closer.
The next match was Team Hell No with Randy Orton vs. the Shield. Kane was a little slow, but made up with it with power moves. The rest of the superstars showed the benefits of superior conditioning, and went on to have the best match of the night. The Shield introduced chairs into the match and lost by disqualification. Awesome comedy bit when Team Hell No gave Randy Orton a hug in the ring.
Intermission. A couple of altercations broke out in the wet section, over inappropriate use of fan signs. Ironically, both altercations were way more entertaining than the match that opened the second half.
David Otunga vs. the Great Khali with Hornswoggle. In one corner, you had a slow, plodding jobber who can’t wrestle, and in the other you had the Great Khali. Truly a horrible match.
The next match was Wade Barrett vs. Sheamus in a non-title match. Both big fellas were clearly battling jet lag, but managed to eke out a good match. Sheamus won a very hard fought contest clean.
The main event was big show vs. Alberto Del Rio in a fans choose match. The choices were between a no DQ match or a best two out of three match. Fans were invited to vote via their smart phones. Let’s see, lots of families, a school night, and it was already after ten p.m.
The no DQ match had a lot of great plunder, and there were liberal uses of chairs and tables. Show lost when he crashed himself through a table for the second time. I have to give him a lot of credit, it would have been easy to just mail it in, but he worked hard.
All things considered, a very good evening. And as a reward for their efforts, our intrepid mat warriors will be rewarded with the opportunity to do this all over again on Friday night in Fairbanks, AK, where they will be met with temperatures of -22F.
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